Elounda holidays 2021
Understated Elounda is a gorgeous little escape from the larger resorts on the island of Crete. A pretty little fishing village on the east coast, holidays to Elounda promise laid-back vibes and stunning sunrises.
A small, colourful harbour with painted boats bobbing in the azure ocean is the centre of the activity in Elounda. In summer, the sizzling Cretan sun makes this a brilliant getaway for lounging by the sea, while in winter temperatures are mild enough to enjoy a spot of hiking in the hills.
Nature in Elounda
Beyond the glistening coastline in Elounda is a mountainous landscape criss-crossed with walking trails through beautiful, native olive tree groves. On the slopes of 563-metres-high Mount Oxa is a relatively straightforward hike, which ascends the peak to reveal panoramic views of Agios Nikolaos and the Gulf of Mirabello below. In the depths of the ocean that laps Elounda’s shoreline is a host of fascinating sea creatures worth seeking out, from seahorses to octopus and even starfish.
Why book Elounda holidays
Discover the best beaches
Elounda is home to a couple of Blue Flag beaches, including the main Elounda Beach and the quieter Driros Beach
Sample the local food
Check out one of Elounda's traditional tavernas for a drink and a tasty Greek bite to eat
Must-visit historical sites
Visit Spinalonga Island, the former leper colony and one of Crete's most visited sites
Explore the local markets
Love checking out the local markets? Don't miss the stalls on Fridays!
Hit the nightlife & bar scene
Have a fun chilled night out at Elounda's bars, or go to Aghios Nikolaos for an even livlier time
Popular with couples
Elounda holidays are as romantic as they come, think stunning views, interesting sights and wonderful beaches
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Your guide to Elounda holidays
Holidays to Elounda can be as relaxing or active as you like, as beyond the beach there are some fascinating attractions to explore.
- Perhaps the most intriguing part of Elounda’s landscape, the island of Kolokythas is connected to the town via a causeway. Take a hike around the island’s trails, stopping off at little churches and viewpoints along the route.
- The centre of Elounda’s activity is around its pretty harbour, where painted boats bob on the water and tavernas serve up fresh fish. An afternoon of bar hopping here is time well spent.
- Seeking some retail therapy? Go shopping on Elounda’s main thoroughfare, Akti Oloundos, where you can bag handmade jewellery, ceramics and souvenirs, or barter for fresh produce at the Friday market.
- In the nearby hilltown of Krista a unique experience awaits. Every August, couples who marry in the village allow members of the public to ‘crash’ their wedding, joining in with the traditional Cretan celebrations.
- No holiday in Elounda is complete without an adventure on the ocean. Local boat operators run brilliant fishing tours, during which you’ll head out onto the high seas, catch your own lunch and barbecue it right on deck.
History in Elounda
This unassuming fishing village was built on top of a key Minoan city, and there are remnants of its long, varied history all over the place.
- Visit Spinalonga Island, a former 20th-century leper colony. Boats drop you off at Dante’s Gate, and a trail around the island passes ruined churches, a cemetery and the original hospital.
- To really go back in time in Elounda, take your snorkel and goggles to see the ancient sunken city of Olous. The ruins of the Minoan city can be seen from the shoreline, but the best experience is in the water itself.
- Just south of Elounda on the forested slopes of Oxa lies the remains of Ancient Naxos. Believed to have served as the Acropolis for Olous, its ruined fortified ruins now overlook the Gulf of Mirabello.
- Sitting beside the old salt pans south of Elounda, along the causeway to Kolokythas Island, is a collection of ancient windmills that make for a lovely photo opportunity.
- Next to Olous you’ll spot a well-preserved mosaic, thought to belong to an early Christian basilica dating back to the Byzantine Era.
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Your Elounda questions answered
The best time to visit Elounda is in summer, between June and September, when the weather is at its hottest and driest. Spring and autumn are cooler, which is ideal if you prefer a milder climate.
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Prices last checked at 01:23 21 January 2021